I watched Julie and Julia last night. If you are trying to diet, you really should watch a movie that features butter as a main character. Maybe it’s a test of your own character if you don’t go microwave a vat of it and slurp it down before the movie ends…or at the very least slather up some popcorn with it.
But no…I watched the movie and didn’t eat through it. I only yelled a little at Netflix when it bumped me out of the movie three or four times. I’m going to quit trying to stream during peak hours, I think, but I’m trying to quit so many things now that streaming movies seems low on the social order.
I loved the movie. It’s a cutesy feel-good flick that made me wish I had my own blog. What could I write a blog about, I asked myself, as Julie asked herself the same.
I was somewhat annoyed, though, that the act of blogging and the act of taking on a major creative project was portrayed as self-centered. Is creativity self-centered? Is writing? Is art in general an ultimately self-centered act? I don’t know. Maybe art is mission work in its own way because it brings comfort and pleasure to others.
That’s what a friend told me when I said that I felt guilty over writing a fantasy novel because it wasn’t about anything important to the world. It was just something that gave me pleasure to do. She said, “If it brings pleasure to anyone, it’s important. Offering people even a brief time to feel good in a world full of struggling and pain is the best anyone can do.”
Maybe, and maybe it is still selfish. I don’t know.
I was enamored enough with the movie that I thought I’d read the book. I’ve read the Julia Child book My Life in France, but I haven’t read the Julie Powell book Julie and Julia. I went over to Amazon to look it up. That’s when I noticed that Julie Powell has a newer book called Cleaving.
Also autobiographical, evidently much of the new book concentrates on the fact that she has an affair.
Now, after butter and Julia and Paul Child, Julie Powell’s husband was my favorite character in the movie. He was beyond supportive.
So, of course, if she’s going to go and cheat on him after the end of the movie when finally after all of his support she catches her big break and gets rich, I don’t want to read about it. Just finding out that’s what the next book is about makes me not want to read the first book either. It makes me suspect that the problem all along was her, that blogging wasn’t a narcissistic pursuit, but that she was just a narcissistic person, and that this was all toned down a bit for the sake of the movie. If so, I don’t want to find out. I don’t want to have my experience of an enjoyable movie ruined by reading a book in which I find out I don’t really like the characters.
I would have for sure purchased Julie and Julia if Cleaving didn’t exist, but now I’m not going to buy either.
That leads me to wondering if I’m being too judgmental. Possibly. I understand that people who do selfish things aren’t always in control of themselves. I read just the other day about the neurology behind high levels of alcoholism in writers and artists. You know those inner censors you have to turn off in order to use your imagination? Well, they are censoring a lot more behaviors than just dull-mindedness. When you turn them off and keep them off long enough, you really don’t know what you are doing. Add to that excess adrenaline and other whacked out bodily chemistry, and you have a real disaster in the making on your hands.
It’s easy enough to understand how people, who aren’t really total jerks after all, make unfortunate choices when they are physically and emotionally strung out.
But you see, this is my blog, and it isn’t about Julie Powell. It’s about me.
However I rationalize it, I just don’t want to read a book has the potential to ruin my experience of a movie I’ve already seen.
That’s that. Moving on now.